The humble green olive, you gotta love them! Olives and eating them have been around for thousands of years. Evidence of its cultivation and consumption dates back almost 6000 years to the Levant area in countries such as Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Crete. Olive oil has been traded since pre-Christian times. And I believe olives have been cooked and eaten in some way or another since then. I wouldn’t be surprised if they made Spicy Blistered Green Olives in a fire pit back in the day!
In fact my husband who was born in the Middle East in what is today known as the West Bank has many childhood memories of eating freshly roasted olives prepared by his grandmother during the olive picking season. To hear his stories one is led to believe that his grandmother prepared it in the centuries old way of roasting them over an open fire in the yard, the same place she made her flat breads.
Actually today we still eat olives prepared the same way pretty much as they were prepared way back then because you really can’t eat the fruit picked straight from the tree. Yes, olives are fruit not veggies, but fresh from the tree they are basically inedible. They’re bitter and have an unappetizing texture. To make olives edible they must be brined, roasted, or cooked in some way. Most of us in the US know only the brined or pickled olives that we find in cans and jars in the supermarket, or floating in a martini, rarely do we find fresh olives that we must prepare at home.
We’ve also “discovered” or really “re-discovered” that olives are healthy for us. A fact which was known thousands of years ago. Olives are packed with nutrients that have many benefits. Olives are heart healthy and has been shown to prevent heart disease; studies have shown that green olives can prevent osteoporosis; olives contain large amounts of antioxidants which help prevent certain types of cancers; they can help reduce Arthritis inflammation and pain; and they are believed to be natural treatments for ulcers. The list actually goes on so I think it’s safe to say that including olives and olive oil in your diet has positive health benefits.
Having said all that I know that not everyone is overly found of olives and I doubt there’ll be a mad rush to buy barrels of brined olives. So here’s a recipe inspired by my husband’s stories about his grandma’s roasted olives that might help you like olives enough to include them in your diet. I call them Spicy Blistered Green Olives, but unlike the grandma I cook them on my stove and not outside in an open fire; although if you have a fire pit you might want to give it a go!
Spicy Blistered Green Olives are delicious! You can eat them hot or cold, they make awesome appetizers, and terrific snacks. I usually leave a bowl of Spicy Blistered Green Olives on the table and everyone who walks by can’t help but pop an olive or two in his mouth each time they walk by.
Aside from the fact that they’re simply yummy and have positive health benefits these Spicy Blistered Green Olives are super easy to make. They are a healthier alternative to chips, cookies, and other carbohydrate laden snacks out there. So here’s the recipe!
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Spicy Blistered Green Olives
1 10oz. Jar of Garlic Stuffed Green Olives
2 Tbs Olive Oil
2 Tbs Minced Garlic
1 Tsp Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbl Crushed Red Pepper
1 Tbl Fresh Lemon Juice
Heat olive oil in sauté pan
Drain Olives and add contents of jar including garlic pieces to the hot oil
Cook until all sides start to turn brown and the olive sort of starts to get wrinkles
Add minced garlic and cook until it starts to brown
Add salt and peppers and mix well
Remove from heat and drizzle lemon juice over all
Toss a bit and serve